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Driving and Maintenance

Driving and Maintenance

Jackie Stewart takes three road: a racing great’s tips on how to make yourself a world-class driver

Every sport has its superstars whose awesome combination of skills and competitiveness set a standard for generations to come. In Grand Prix auto racing, the Scottish driver, Jackie Stewart, is among the sport’s greatest champions, with 27 Grand Prix victories during his celebrated career. Stewart learned to drive when he was 9 years old as a result of working in his father’s garage. “I had to park cars and shuttle them in and out of the garage, at first at very low speeds,” Stewart says. “It gave me an understanding of how gentle I had to be with a clutch pedal.” Here, the three-time world champion shares his tips on how you can make yourself a better driver. (more…)

Used Car Buying

An Indy Guide to Used Car Buying

Be a pro when you kick the tires of an auto you’re considering owning

Marlboro-Penske team member Rick Rinaman has been the pit crew chief for two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Emerson Fittipaldi since 1990. Here are Rinaman’s tips on what to look for mechanically when shopping for a used car. (more…)

Fine Print on a Lease

Reading the Fine Print on a Lease

Monthly payments are just the beginning

Randall McCathren, executive vice president of Bank Lease Consultants, Inc., a consulting firm that tracks trends in auto lease financing, advises that, in addition to monthly payment, which is the main shopping comparison consumers use, potential lessees should consider these variables: (more…)

The Roaring Eighties

The Roaring Eighties

The Roaring Eighties had its fair share of speculative excesses, and again unwary investors paid the price for building castles in the air. The decade started with another spectacular new-issue boom. (more…)

Car-Buying Pro Speaks

A Car-Buying Pro Speaks

Get a Bargain on Your Dreamboat

A car-buying pro reveals how to get the best deal in town

No-dicker auto dealerships are increasingly common today, thanks to the one-price-fits-all success of General Motor’s Saturn division and a growing number of other dealerships. But if the deals at such showrooms are fair, they are seldom great, say experts. And 85 percent of all new car purchases are still negotiated. But there’s no reason why your neighbors the Joneses should get a better deal than you. Here, W. James Bragg, author of In the Driver’s Seat : The New Car Buyer’s Negotiating Bible (Random House, 1993) and founder of the car buying information service, Fighting Chance, outlines what you need to know to push a dealer eager to negotiate to the limit. (more…)

Lemon Law

Lemon Law

Lemon owners get a reprieve

If the car you buy is a dud, you may qualify for a refund or replacement, that’s what the lemon law says! (more…)

Automatic Sprinkler Corporation

Automatic Sprinkler Corporation

In the 1960s, one company was truly creative in financing its acquisition program. It used a convertible preferred stock that paid no cash dividend at all (convertible preferred stock is similar to a convertible bond in that the preferred dividend is a fixed obligation of the company. But neither the principal nor the preferred dividend is considered a debt, son your company can usually skip a payment with greater freedom. Of course, in this example, the stock paid no cash dividend at all). Instead, the conversion rate of the security was to be adjusted annually to provide that the preferred stock be convertible into more common shares each year. The older pros in Wall Street shook their heads in disbelief over these shenanigans. (more…)

Synergism

Synergism

In the 19th century, by the mid-sixties, creative entrepreneurs had discovered that growth was a word and the word was synergism. (more…)

Pay Attention to Your 401 (k)

Pay Attention to Your 401 (k)

Fund your do-it-yourself pension plan now or regret it later

For many people, 401 (k) plans will be their largest retirement asset. Yet many employees are contributing below levels allowed by law, and fewer than 35 percent of 401 (k) plan participants set aside enough money to the plan to earn the maximum company match, according to Hewitt Associates, an employee-benefits firm in Illinois. When you figure in compounding over time, that could mean a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars. (more…)

Social Security: What to Expect From Uncle Sam

Social Security: What to Expect From Uncle Sam

In the future, you’ll have to work longer before you collect

A retiree would have a tough time surviving on Social Security benefits alone. The average annual Social Security benefit paid in 1994 was a meager $8,088. You can start taking benefits at age 62 but you’ll suffer a permanent 20 percent cut in benefits. If you wait until 65 or beyond, you could get up to several thousand dollars more a year. (more…)

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